I’m an artist, designer, curator & storyteller
with a natural creative flair, an innovative approach and a point of view worth sharing.
I’m fascinated by the cultural exchanges that occur as a result of movement and migration, expressed by the clothes we wear, the objects we collect, the art we make and the stories we tell.
I’ve spent over three decades exploring the relationship between cloth, culture and race – visually through exhibition making and verbally through written and spoken word. Creativity, conversation and collaboration shape all that I do.
I believe that living is the ultimate act of creativity. Who we are, how we live and what we leave behind are all creative choices.
While it’s true that inequality means some are given less opportunity to focus their creative talents, I’ve also seen how those with the most constraints are often the ones who come up with the most creative solutions.
Creativity can transform lives, communities & cultures. But when it comes down to it, I embrace creativity for the sheer joy of it!
Which is why you’re just as likely to find me dancing the lindy-hop, as speaking behind a lectern or working in my studio.
The Official Bio
Dr Christine Checinska is a British artist, designer, curator & storyteller. Her work explores the relationship between cloth, culture and race.
Her PhD, Colonizin’ in Reverse! (Goldsmiths, London, 2009), examines the impact of creolised Caribbean culture on English male dress, and questions the relative absence of culturally diverse voices within Global North fashion and textiles studies. Through such work she invokes an interconnected and equitable art and design world where Black creativity, with all its nuances and contradictions, is nurtured and respected.
She has built on these themes in her role as Senior Curator Africa and Diaspora: Textiles and Fashion, and Lead Curator of Africa Fashion at the V&A Museum, London, and as Research Associate at the Visual Identities in Art and Design Research Centre (VIAD), University of Johannesburg.
In 2016, she delivered the TEDxTalk Disobedient Dress: Fashion as Everyday Activism examining the fascinating cultural exchanges that occur beyond borders as a result of movement and migration expressed through the clothes we wear, the objects we collect and the art that we make.
|2003 – 2009||PhD, Cultural Studies – Goldsmiths, University of London|
|2020 – Present||Curator of African and African Diaspora Fashion – V&A Museum, London|
|2015 – Present||
Associate Research Fellow – VIAD, University of Johannesburg
|2018 – 2020||
Visiting Tutor – Royal College of Art, London
2016 – 2020
|Senior Designer – Sahara|
|2015 – 2016||Head of Design – Navabi GmBH|
|2014 – 2015||Design Consultant – Sahara|
|2013 – 2015||Postdoctoral Research Fellow – University of East London|
|2013 – 2015||Associate Lecturer – Goldsmiths, University of London|
|2006 – 2013||Senior Designer – Artigiano|
|2012 – 2013||Visiting Tutor – Goldsmiths, University of London|
|2011 – 2012||Associate Curator/Exhibitions Researcher – Iniva|
|2003 – 2009||PhD Student – Goldsmiths, University of London|
|1999 – 2005||Freelance Designer – Anne Tyrell Design|
|1996 – 1999||Senior Designer – Margaret Howell|
|1990 – 1995||Principal Designer – Laura Ashley|
|1988 – 1990||Designer – The Burton Group|
|1986 – 1988||Designer – River Island|
|2022||Africa Fashion – V&A Museum|
|2021||Folded Life: Talking Textile Politics – Johann Jacobs Museum|
|2021||Maker’s Eye: Stories of Craft, Crafts Council|
|2017||She Tries Her Tongue – E17 Art Trail|
|2016||The Arrivants – FADA Gallery, University of Johannesburg|
|2016||Adventus: Another World is Possible – St Mary’s Church|
|2012||Social Fabric – Iniva|
|2002||10 Boys – James Hockey Gallery|
|2022||The Politics of Fabric and Fashion in Africa 1960-Today – Gresham College|
|2016||Disobedient Dress: Fashion as Everyday Activism – TEDx London|
|TBC||Refashioning African Diaspora Masculinities, Bloomsbury Publications|
|TBC||Althea McNish: Fashioning Modernism, in Black Artists and Modernism Sonia Boyce and David Dibosa (eds.) Duke University Press|
|2022||Africa Fashion, V&A Publications|
|2021||Cut & Mix: Collage, Creolisation ad African Diaspora Aesthetics in ISSUE 09 Mobilities, Venka Purushothaman (ed.) LASALLE College of Arts|
|2019||Spinning a Yarn of One’s Own, in A Companion to Textile Cultures Jennifer Harris (ed.) Wiley Blackwell Publications|
|2018|| Aesthetics of Blackness? Cloth, Culture and the African Diasporas – Guest editor of a special issue of Textile: Journal of Cloth and Culture, Taylor & Francis Publications
|2017||At Home with Vanley Burke, in Image & Text, Leora Farber (ed.) online publication|
|2017||Stylin’ the Great Masculine Enunciation and the (Re)-fashioning of African Diasporic Identities, in Critical Arts, Volume 31, Number 3 June 2017, Leora Farber (ed.) Routledge Publications|
|2017||Althea McNish and the British African Diaspora, in British Pop Art and Design, Anne Massey and Alex Seaga (eds.), Bloomsbury Publications|
|2017||Lubaina Himid: Artist, Activist, Collaborator, in Cut Cloth: Contemporary Textiles and Feminisms Sarah-Joy Ford (ed.)|
|2017||Migrations, Huddersfield Art Gallery, West Yorkshire, exhibition review in ROTOR Review|
|2015||Sound and Vision: Christine Checinska wonders how Nick Cave’s Soundsuits take shape, in Selvedge Issue 65, May 2015|
|2015||Social Fabric co-authored with Grant Watson (INIVA), in The Handbook of Textile Culture Janis Jefferies, Hazel Clark and Diana Wood Conroy (eds.) Bloomsbury Publications|
|2015||Art, Cloth and the African Diasporas in Cultural Threads: Transnational Textiles Today, Jessica Hemmings (ed.) Bloomsbury Publications,|
|2014||Sonia Boyce “Scat: Sound and Collaboration”, Iniva London, exhibition review in Visual Culture in Britain, Taylor and Francis|
|2014||Second Skins: Cloth, Difference and the Art of Transformation, in Image and Text, Leora Farber and Anne-Marie Tully (eds.), University of Johannesburg, online publication|
|2013||Crafting Difference, in Engage: Critical Crafts special issue Karen Raney (ed.), online publication|
|2012||Reconfiguring Diasporic Identities, in Beyond Borders, John Hutnyk (ed.), Pavement Books|
|2006||Re-fashioning Identities, in I am Black, I am White, I am Yellow, Joan Anim-Addo (ed.), Mango Publishing|
|2006||Consuming Colonisation: excavatin’ escoveitched fish, in Kunapipi: Journal of Postcolonial Writing, Anne Collett (ed.), University of Wollongong|
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